Ottawa: The standalone monthly SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada declined 11% in October (267,055 units) compared to September’s 2022 high (298,811 units).
The SAAR of total urban starts also declined, down 11% to 245,234 units in October. Multi-unit urban starts decreased 13% to 188,189 units, while single-detached urban starts fell 4% to 57,045 units.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,821 units.
“Monthly SAAR declined in October, while the six-month trend in housing starts slightly increased. October’s decrease in monthly SAAR housing starts in Canada’s urban areas was driven by both lower multi-unit and single-detached starts. Among Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal was the only market to post an increase in total SAAR housing starts, driven by a 19% increase in multi-unit activity.
Toronto, down 47% and Vancouver, down 19%, contributed to the overall monthly decline in SAAR housing starts for Canada. Despite this, Housing starts activity remains elevated in Canada in 2022,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist.
The trend in housing starts was 277,667 units in October, up 0.5% from 276,374 units in September, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a clearer picture of upcoming new housing supply. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as the multi-unit segment largely drives the market and can vary significantly from one month to the next.
A housing start is defined as the beginning of construction work on the building where the dwelling unit will be located. This can be described in 2 ways:
• The stage when the concrete has been poured for the whole of the footing around the structure.
• An equivalent stage where a basement will not be part of the structure.